New Exhibition

The State Museum Opens New Exhibit on Sulphur Dell Dig

An exhibition showcasing archaeological discoveries found prior to the construction of the First Tennessee Park opened at the Museum on August 15. These findings, dating to about 800 years ago, center around Nashville’s first industry — salt.

On the exhibit’s opening day, a leading authority on saltworks in antiquity, Dr. Ian W. Brown, gave a free public lecture. Dr. Brown is the Professor and Chair, Department of Anthropology at the University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa. His keynote lecture, Salt in Pre-history and History, addressed the role of salt and salt production in world history and prehistoric times.

The exhibition features objects found by archeologists during the excavation of the land where the new First Tennessee Park, home of the Nashville Sounds minor league baseball team, now stands. Museum curator Dr. Rex Weeks has organized the exhibit, which interprets the history of the Sulphur Dell site. Some of the artifacts include pottery and tools.

From the objects found at the Sulphur Dell site, it was determined that it was once the location of salt production for the Native Americans who once inhabited the area.

Dr. Brown was able to explain how salt figures prominently in foodways; its production and use extends far beyond the realm of cuisine. Salt is arguably one of the most significant mineral resources with regard to human societies. Ancient salines, where brine bubbles forth from the ground, were highly valued by peoples of the past and, as such, were often closely guarded. 

The exhibit will remain on public view as part the First Tennesseans collection on Level D of the museum.

There is no admission charge for the exhibition.

Photo caption: A sketch by artist Carlyle Urello. It illustrates a small detail of the 30 by 80 inch color painting that will be the centerpiece of the new exhibition.

 





tn4me

Tennessee State Museum
505 Deaderick Street
Nashville, TN 37243-1120

FREE ADMISSION

Open: Tuesday - Saturday:
10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Sunday: 1 to 5 p.m.
Closed: Mondays and four holidays: New Year's Day, Easter, Thanksgiving, and Christmas Day.

(615) 741-2692
TOLL-FREE: 800-407-4324
museuminfo@tnmuseum.org

 

 

 





tn4me

Tennessee State Museum
505 Deaderick Street
Nashville, TN 37243-1120

FREE ADMISSION

Open: Tuesday - Saturday:
10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Sunday: 1 to 5 p.m.
Closed: Mondays and four holidays: New Year's Day, Easter, Thanksgiving, and Christmas Day.

(615) 741-2692
TOLL-FREE: 800-407-4324
museuminfo@tnmuseum.org